JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh

Consolidation and integration are bywords of Chinese agriculture, as more small farms and small feedmills are replaced by larger operations. For example, there are about 11,000 feed mills in China now, but it is estimated that 800 to 1,000 feed companies are disappearing every year, as large feed mills expand to meet the needs of bigger farms.

According to Alltech North China General Manager, Gordon Gao, China urgently needs to increase production efficiency, maintain profitability and focus on food safety. He spoke at the Alltech 20-Year Summit held in Beijing last month and focused on the dairy industry. “Chinese dairy farmers need to find sustainable ways to maintain profitability by lowering costs and increasing the level of production,” he says.

It also will soon be critical that Chinese companies use alternative raw material sources. Dr. Mark Lyons, vice president of Alltech, predicts that systems such as solid state fermentation (SSF) will soon allow the production of customized enzyme cocktails for improving digestion, animal performance and health. Algae has already begun to play an increasing role in animal production as a source of sustainable vegetable protein or oils (DHA).

As part of Alltech’s “China Now” strategy, Lyons said, “Alltech has committed to investing $2.5 million by 2016 in research alliance programs with leading Chinese universities and our partnership with Ocean University of China in Qingdao will contribute to a sustainable future for the Chinese aquaculture industry. We have never been as excited as we are today about the opportunities in China and we look forward to closely supporting the industry in the next 20 years as well.”

Next week, look for the final installment of our China articles, as we discuss China’s ability to adapt.